Past Events

15 April 2021

Online Panel Discussion

ForumLocation: 

Online Event

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Thursday April 15, 2021 - 4 PM

Panel: “How to Impress Investors with your Business Plan Financials”

Moderator:

Jack Miner Chief Investment Officer, TEDCO. At TEDCO, Jack stewards diligence and investment processes, leads the Builder, Seed and Maryland Venture Funds and investment portfolios to maximize the financial return, and ensures a lasting impact for the State of Maryland. He reports to the CEO providing insight to advance TEDCO’s investment activities, leads investment teams, completes all investment transactions, effectively maintains portfolio development and ensures compliance with all investment policies and guidelines. Jack recently spearheaded 20Fathom’s HealthSpark in Traverse City, Michigan to engage provider, payor, and patient organizations to provide support for rural healthcare and this underserved patient population. Jack’s most recent leadership position was at Cleveland Clinic Ventures as Managing Director where he spearheaded the development of a new corporate venture team for investing in internal startups and external early-stage companies while managing these companies with appropriate governance and oversight. Jack also deployed a robust investment process to co-invest in companies that were strategic to the Clinic. Before joining Cleveland Clinic Ventures, Jack worked for the University of Michigan as Director of the Venture Center where he championed the Mentor-in-Residence Program, the Business Formation Team, and the Venture Accelerator under the Office of Technology Transfer to accelerate new startup ventures to the marketplace. He achieved top status in the industry with over 300 companies in the portfolio. Jack was part of Computer Associates before it went public on the NYSE and subsequently was acquired. Jack also served in senior management and board positions for Enhale Medical, Custom Orthopedics, Juventas Therapeutics, and Navigate Cardiac Structures, among others.

Panelists:

Jeffrey Basch Co-founder and CFO, Fifth Eye Inc. Jeff co-founded Fifth Eye, an Ann Arbor venture funded company that develops intuitive real-time clinical analytics to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital costs. In March, Fifth Eye received their FDA De Novo grant authorizing the commercial launch of their Analytic for Hemodynamic Instability, known as AHI. AHI can continuously monitor any patient with an ECG for hemodynamic instability — a leading cause of death for critically ill or injured patients. Jeff built his broadly adaptive skills over 14 years at early-stage start-ups and 17 years at General Electric. He started his 30-year career as a chemical engineer in a manufacturing plant. After a stint in research and development, he followed one of his products to a sales and marketing position in Automotive. As a sales manager he was directly responsible for contracts worth over $30M a year. When Jeff left GE in 2007, he was managing a team of 19 spread across North America and responsible for over $200M in annual revenue. Jeff officially joined the start-up finance world in 2008 as business manager for Accio Energy. He has been CFO of Fifth Eye since its founding in 2018. Jeff has now managed early-stage financing of over $20M from a broad array of sources including multimillion dollar transactions with venture capitalists, angels, and US and State agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Defense and Public Service Agencies. Jeff has built financial systems from the ground up to support the most rigorous requirements of venture capitalist and government agency audits. His experience in many different functional areas allows him to speak the language of all customers. Jeff views Finance as a cross functional role whose mission is to make others successful with strategies developed from credible and timely data.

John Freshley – President, Fresh Venture Development & Co-Founder, Bioscience Navigators. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, John Prista Freshley is a high-energy entrepreneur, company builder and leader that has founded, launched, and/or led 10 early-stage life science companies over the past two decades. Currently, as President & Owner of Fresh Venture Development and Co-Founder of Bioscience Navigators, John is focused on being “helpful” to scientists, founders, and/or companies within the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Michigan and Portugal as an advisor and/or in interim leadership roles. Within Michigan, he serves as Executive Chairman of Curio Genomics, Head of Corporate Development for Asalyxa Bio, and Venture Partner at Orange Grove Bio. In Portugal, he serves as an Advisor to A5 Ventures, an advisor to P-Bio (the Portuguese biotech association), and a faculty mentor to ITQB Start-up, a collaboration of life science research institutions from around Portugal that is based out of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where he coaches 6+ teams annually to plan the launch of new start-up concepts. Outside of Michigan and Portugal, John also serves as Interim EVP of GenomiCare, Inc, where he is leading the launch of a real-world evidence (RWE) clinical genomics company to serve pharma and biotech interested in high quality, patient-centric real-world oncology data in Chinese patient populations. Previously, from 2013 through April 2019, John served as President & CEO of ONL Therapeutics, an emerging ophthalmology company focused on preventing the death of retinal cells, the leading cause of permanent vision loss. Prior to ONL, he led the launch of Compendia Bioscience in 2006 as its Start-Up CEO for 2 years. He continued to serve the company for another 4 years as Chief Business Officer until its acquisition by Life Technologies (now Thermo Fisher) in 2012. 

Mike Klein CEO, Genomenon, Inc. Mike is the CEO of Genomenon, an Ann Arbor venture funded company, commercializing a genomic search engine that leverages Artificial Intelligence to organize the world’s genomic knowledge and put it at the fingertips of clinicians to diagnose patients suffering from rare diseases and cancer, and researchers to create precision medicine targeted at these diseases. Prior to this, Mike was a 4-time serial entrepreneur with several successful exits under his belt and 30 years of CEO experience starting, building and growing high tech, software companies. He wrote the business plan for his first company, Steeplechase Software, while in the MBA program at the University of Michigan and started the company in 1993. Steeplechase was #89 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies when it was sold to Schneider Automation in 2000. In 2001, he led a turnaround at Interlink Networks.  In 2008, Mike joined Online Tech as Co-CEO, and sold the company 4 years later for a 10X return to its investors.

Alumni Presentation

A Showcase Presenter from the past is invited to return to present an update on their business and share lessons learned.

Hygieia

Eran Bashan, PhD is CEO and Chairman of Hygieia. Hygieia's d-Nav® Program was created to improve and simplify insulin treatment to make a difference and help more people who are on insulin therapy succeed. The d-Nav® program uses an FDA-cleared app to identify glucose patterns and automatically recommend an insulin dose each time the patient injects. Eran has over 20 years experience in leadership, execution, research, innovation, and team building. He co-founded Hygieia in 2008 and demonstrated his ability to bring products from ideation to commercialization. Prior to Hygieia, Eran managed R&D at OTM Technologies, a startup company focusing on unique optical sensor applications. Prior to OTM, Eran was with Elbit Systems (NASDAQ:ESLT). He also spent several years as a lecturer. Eran started his career in the military as a field officer where he was a Company commander in the Armor Corps. Eran holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Eran was a Showcase presenter at New Enterprise Forum in 2008.

Networking

At the conclusion of the Forum, stick around and network with your fellow attendees over ZOOM. We will break out into smaller groups so that you can rub virtual elbows with the movers and shakers of Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

REGISTER NOW

 

18 March 2021

Showcase & Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

ONLINE

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New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.  Join us  to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Showcase Presentation

An entrepreneur who has has perfected a ten minute investor pitch with the help of NEF coaches will present their company and take questions from the audience.

Tenacity

Jason Yaeger is Co-Founder and CEO of Tenacity. Tenacity Cloud solves the most persistent and costly problems facing public cloud management. Tenacity delivers Compliance, Security, and Visibility with a light weight SaaS solution for every IT Team. Tenacity does this through real time monitoring, immediate guidance, and prioritized remediation steps to correct human errors that would otherwise expose your organization. Tenacity addresses security incidents, compliance audit findings, and unchecked financial waste at scale. CEO Jason is a technology industry veteran with an entrepreneurial drive and a bias for action. He grew a secure and compliant cloud managed service providers revenue by 10x, culminating in a successful exit for investors at 12x EBITDA.  Jason graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BBA in Accounting and Finance.

 

Pitch Pit

This month, selected entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $250 cash prize.

Contestants this month include:

John Haas is the founder of Illuminate Prosthetic, offering a software app which prosthetic providers will have their patients use to track and summarize  information about the fit, comfort level, pain location and pain intensity.  John is a a Prosthetics and Orthotics Master's Student at Eastern Michigan University and will be graduating this April. He believes creating platforms for efficient business practices within healthcare can significantly improve patient care and  streamline the insurance billing process.

 

Arohi Jain is the founder and CEO at BreezeBubble, offering a smart mask designed for high comfort and protection. Arohi has a background in Computer Science Engineering and recently graduated from the Master of Management program at the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan. 

 

Benjamin Shniper is the founder of Pittsburgh Financial Advisors and is developing AI products to help hedge funds to make returns that exceed the market. As a CMU-trained computer scientist with 10 years of AI and Cloud architecture experience, his history includes being a registered financial advisor and technology consultant helping early stage start ups building products from scratch which got funding, customers.
 

Judges for this month's event are:

Fathi Abdelsalam is Entrepreneur in Residence at TechTown Detroit, Adjunct Professor at the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business and Founding CEO of Akibah Health. He founded Akibah Health while finishing his graduate studies at Cornell University with the objective of empowering people to live healthier lives. Prior to AkibaH, he served as a senior patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where he was immersed in the latest high-tech inventions pertaining to new methods of doing business. Fathi is very passionate about developing scalable solutions that have substantial social and economic impact and is a member of several entrepreneurial communities, including Techstars, TechTown Detroit, Seamless IoT, Startup Weekend, and Start-Up Chile. Fathi holds a master's degree in international development and entrepreneurship, and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in industrial engineering and economics. With Detroit’s renaissance in full swing, he decided in 2019 to relocate from Silicon Valley to his family's hometown to serve as a resource and catalyst.

Ken Massey, PhD is the Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Senior Director of Venture Development at Wayne State University. He has 28 years of experience in biomedical research and business. He is responsible for identifying start-up opportunities and facilitating efforts of WSU entrepreneurs to create companies that will license and develop WSU technology. Before joining Wayne State, he was managing director of MicroDose Life Sciences and its associated venture capital fund, LifeLine Ventures. Prior to MicroDose, Dr. Massey was an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pharmacology at the University of Michigan before joining Pfizer where he was responsible for the scientific and operational aspects of several drug development programs. Massey received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Eastern Michigan University and his Ph.D. in cardiovascular physiology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
 

Evan Ufer is a Partner at Plymouth Growth, where he focuses on sourcing and executing lead investments in technology-based businesses. Since joining in 2014, he has led six of Plymouth’s investments and has been involved in many other successful financings. Prior to Plymouth, Evan served as Vice President at Quilvest Private Equity in New York. He focused on evaluating and executing direct private equity investments – buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity – in such industries as software, telecommunications and manufacturing. Previously, Evan worked in real estate private equity for The Carlyle Group’s senior housing division, Carlyle Senior Housing. Evan began his career as an architect at SmithGroup, one of the oldest and largest architecture and engineering firms in the U.S. Evan earned his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, graduating with High Honors, and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The University of Virginia, also with High Honors.
 

Networking

At the conclusion of the Pit Pitch, stick around and network with your fellow attendees over ZOOM. We will break out into smaller groups so that you can rub virtual elbows with the movers and shakers of Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

18 February 2021

NEF Annual Awards Event

ForumLocation: 

ONLINE

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February 18, 2021

4 PM - 6 PM

Join us for a celebration of entrepreneurship. In addition our Showcase Presentation, we will present several awards to entrepreneurs from the region.  Also, join us after the main program for a fun Networking Session.

Showcase Presenter

Eebu Health

Harvey Goodman founded his first company when he was 18 to help cover the costs of college and sold it for a case of beer 4 years later. After working at several software start-ups, he co-founded his second company in Ed Tech. He sold that business to the education division of News Corp. When Newscorp sought to shed its investment in education, he bought it back, grew revenue, and sold it again. Harvey is a start-up advisor and investor.

Harvey co-founded Eebu Health to address a problem his partner, Dr. John Hollingsworth, had observed: it is difficult to ensure patients follow-up as prescribed and the human and financial costs of forgotten follow-up can be devasting. For example, 17,000 men with low-risk prostate cancer become high-risk each year without anyone noticing, simply because they did not do their follow-up testing. Eebu Health drives hospital revenue while decreasing the costs of missed care.

 

Entrepreneurs of the Year

New Enterprise Forum is pleased to recognize the co-founders of  WorkIt Health as its Entrepreneurs of the Year. Workit Health offers digital evidence-based substance use disorder treatment including medication for opioid and alcohol use disorders in Michigan and beyond. Workit’s patient-centered web and mobile apps bring gold-standard substance use disorder treatment to the privacy of home, with therapeutic interactive recovery curriculums, video visits with clinicians and counselors, online recovery groups, and virtual drug testing. Workit Health also partners with health plans, community organizations, and local governments to improve access and outcomes. The company raised $12 million in its latest funding round led by FirstMark Capital. Other investors in the Series B round include Blue Cross and Blue Shield Venture Partners, GingerBread Capital, Lux Capital and actor Rob Lowe, a leading advocate for mental health and recovery.

An experienced entrepreneur, designer, and builder, Robin McIntosh is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Workit Health. She's founded multiple companies and has worked across startups, brands, and business communities over the past ten years. Robin’s expertise lies in crafting and executing business growth strategies, as well as building innovative and compelling consumer experiences. A designer by training, she excels at solving industry-scale problems through user-centered research, design thinking, and craft. She is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer, most recently at Stanford, Yale, and the University of Michigan about design, innovation, and business strategy.

Lisa McLaughlin is a social entrepreneur, researcher, and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Workit Health who holds Masters of both Social Work and Information from the University of Michigan. She’s laid the groundwork in Michigan and the greater U.S. for effective strategies for on-demand substance use disorder treatment and prevention resources for health plans, employers, and individuals. As Principal Investigator on Workit Health’s initiatives with the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she’s developed digital interventions to solve for social determinants of health and algorithms to measure and predict substance use recovery. In 2019 she was named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and winner of the Lyfebulb and United Healthcare Innovation Challenge.

"Best of 2020" Awards

The New Enterprise Forum will also recognize outstanding entrepreneurs in the categories of Best Presentation, Best Technology and more. Company founders who were Showcase Presenters in 2020 are eligible for awards:

  • AuraLabs, Robert Alexander
  • CardioGenerics, Bill O’Neil
  • Connect To My Attorney, Peter Staver
  • eSimplify, Pradeep Kalmat
  • Modus, Ali Alhimiri MD
  • Rizzarr, Ashley Williams
  • ZoomBroom, Randy Kuchuck

Join our February Forum to find out who the winners are!

Networking

At the conclusion of the awards presentations, stick around and network with your fellow attendees over ZOOM. We will break out into smaller groups so that you can "virtually" rub elbows with the movers and shakers of Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

REGISTER NOW 

 

 

21 January 2021

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Online Event

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New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.  Join us  to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Showcase Presentation

 

BACKBOARD

Anthony Montalbano is a co-founder of Backboard. Previously, he ran a software consulting firm in Detroit, MI. For over 8 years he and his team built enterprise e-commerce, advanced analytics, and sales platforms. He has consulted with multiple QSR pizza companies, most recently Jet’s Pizza. He previously worked for Domino’s Pizza as a tech lead on the e-commerce experience, visual pizza builder, and pizza tracker. 

Anthony co-founded Backboard in 2020 to create a new touch-less communication experience for frontline employees in organizations with numerous locations. In 2021, Backboard is launching in 400+ restaurants in the US.

Pitch Pit

This month, selected student entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $250 cash prize.

Contestants

Jacqueline Sun and Taylor Hurley from the University of Michigan Zell Lurie Institute will present Brassi. They are passionate about entrepreneurship and the health food space and joined forces in November of 2020 to bring their vision to life. Brassi is a start-up focused on providing an easy-to-make, shelf stable, and flavorful cauliflower oats bowl as full-nutrition oatmeal. Each flavorful ‘cauli-oats bowl’ contains a plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fat, complex carb, and (hidden) vegetable.  

Jake Roach from the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University will present CAPNOS.  CAPNOS' mission is to prevent some lung diseases with a better alternative to vaping that addresses the behavioral addiction to vaping. The CAPNOS Zero uses only air but provides a deep-hit sensation with flavor that has already helped test users quit vaping successfully. After graduation, Jake hopes to continue working with CAPNOS to help people live happier, healthier lifestyles and help save lives along the way.

Gavin Hubbard from the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University will present Catch Software.  Gavin also held the position of Battalion Commander of MSU Army ROTC in 2020 and will be commissioned as a Logistics Officer in 2021. Catch is an app which allows users to see a running feed of everyone at their same location. Whether you are at a concert, bar, club, business conference, stadium, or anywhere else. Catch makes it easier to connect with others, turning a real space, into a virtual one.

Judges

A panel of esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams:

Diane Bouis is the Innovation Program Manager at the Office of Tech Transfer Venture Accelerator where Diane’s role is to bridge the gap between academic science and entrepreneurship, working closely with faculty founders, industry mentors and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem inside and outside the university to identify and leverage the resources for startups to thrive. Prior to this role she practiced and taught Lean Startup principles and intrapreneurship in Fortune 1-50 companies as an innovation consultant with the Inovo Group. In her spare time Diane co-founded and ran a local non-profit healthcare hackathon, Ann Arbor Health Hacks (A2H2), an experience that developed her knowledge and passion for the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Brandon H. McNaughton, PhD is CEO and co-founder of Akadeum Life Sciences, Inc. Brandon’s goal is simple: to create new and useful technologies that solve real-world problems. This has spanned his efforts in scientific research, venture capital, and in starting two tech companies over the last 10 years. Now, he is working on a next generation technology in the life sciences—using microbubbles to capture and isolate cells, DNA, and protein. Brandon also co-developed and teaches the entrepreneurship practicum—one of the first courses of its kind at the University of Michigan. Brandon earned his PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan and lives in the countryside south of Ann Arbor.

 

Jeff Rinvelt is Principal at Renaissance Venture Capital. Jeff’s diverse background in venture capital and technology along with his experience working in various start-up ventures uniquely positions him to advise startups. In addition, Jeff is quite active in the Michigan start-up community, volunteering his time to mentor young entrepreneurs, judge pitch competitions, and guest lecture student classes and organizations. Through Jeff’s work on the Fund, his volunteer efforts and his role on the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s board of directors, his passion for fostering a productive environment for venture capital investment in the State of Michigan is clearly evident.  Jeff earned a BBA from Western Michigan University and currently serves as a Trustee of WMU.
 

Networking

At the conclusion of the Pit Pitch, stick around and network with your fellow attendees over ZOOM. We will break out into smaller groups so that you can "virtually" rub elbows with the movers and shakers of Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial ecosystem.
 

 

Showcase Presenter: 

19 November 2020

NEF Showcase Presentation and Panel Discussion - Online Event

ForumLocation: 

Online Event

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

This month the main presentations will be from 4 PM to 5:30 PM followed by Virtual Networking opportunity from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

AGENDA

4:00 - 4:10 Welcome/Updates

4.10 - 4:35 Showcase Presentation

4:35 - 5:30 Panel Discussion

5:30 - 6:15 Virtual Networking

Showcase Presentation

CardioGenerics

CardioGenerics offers innovative, reusable/disposable surgical devices. CardioGenerics has redesigned the traditional, single-use, disposable heart stabilizer into single-use suction pods that snap onto a multiple-use flexible arm.  The hard-to-clean, blood contact parts are designed for single use.  The flexible arm is expensive.  Hospitals can clean and re-sterilize the flexible arm multiple times at half the cost of single-use heart stabilizers.   These products will save a hospital $1300 or 4.2% for every surgery done on Medicare patients. These savings could be the difference between profit and loss for Medicare reimbursed surgeries.  This patent pending innovation of splitting single use devices into single and multiple use components could disrupt the $156 billion medical device market. Bill O’Neill is the founder of CardioGenerics and a veteran of three medical device startups.

Panel Discussion - "Technology Trends in the Startup World"

A panel of experts will discuss current trends in technology and their effect on the world of startups and investments. We have invited early stage VCs to provide their insights to our entrepreneurs.

The panel will discuss what technologies investors are finding interesting, what are the trends for 2021 due to COVID-19 and post pandemic, and what VCs are observing and deciding their investment strategies, and their advice to early stage startups on strategies and preparation for 2021 based on these trends.

Panelists

Terence Craig is Director of Entrepreneurship at The Impact Seat and is responsible for a portfolio of over 60 companies and several venture funds. Terence is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and worked for startups for almost his entire career.  A few years ago, Terence decided to use his expertise and experience as a black founder and a deep technologist to support other “non-traditional” founders in navigating the startup landscape. Terence joined the executive team at Astia Angels and ran a pilot program of investment and support for Women of Color called the Representation Program.  Terence is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
 

Aziz Gilani is a Managing Director at Mercury Fund, where he focuses on investments in enterprise SaaS, Cloud and data science startups. Outside of Mercury, Aziz serves in advisory roles for the Mayor of Houston’s Tech and Innovation Council, Seed Accelerator Rankings, and SXSW Interactive. He is also an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business where he teaches a course on venture capital. Aziz is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program through the Center for Venture Education, where he completed industry-defining field work on Seed Accelerators.

Krish Ramadurai is a Principal at Neue Fund – an early-stage venture capital fund that invests at the intersection of healthcare, life sciences, and deep technology. Neue Fund utilizes evidence-based approaches to invest in and scale breakthrough scientific innovations to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Neue Fund’s portfolio consists of 30+ companies cumulatively valued at more than $2B. Furthermore, Mr. Ramadurai is a multi-published scientific author, scholar, and researcher. He earned an MBA in healthcare and strategy from Washington University in St. Louis, a master’s degree in biology from Harvard University, and bachelor’s degree in integrative biology and economics with a chemistry minor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

David Wezdenko is Founder and CEO of Blue Leaf Ventures. Since 2018, Blue Leaf has been actively building an investment portfolio of diverse, compelling, high growth start-up companies.  David provides advice and guidance on critical focus areas including financial management, capital raising, scaling for growth and network building.  Prior to founding Blue Leaf Ventures, David held senior executive positions, including COO roles within the J.P. Morgan U.S. Wealth Management and Investment Management businesses.  Additionally, David was CFO and CAO at Evercore Partners, helping to lead that company through a successful IPO. David is a graduate of Boston College and active in several organizations with missions that focus on education and empowerment for underserved populations in New York City.
 

Panel Moderator

Patti Glaza, EVP & Managing Director of Invest Detroit, will moderate the panel. Ms. Glaza joined Invest Detroit in 2014 with over 25 years of experience in the tech sector. Her primary responsibilities include sourcing and facilitating the development of early-stage and high-growth companies by providing guidance and investment capital. Previously, Ms. Glaza managed the Michigan office for Arsenal Venture Partners, a national venture capital firm focused on IT, energy, and industrial technologies. Ms. Glaza is an advisor/board member for organizations that include: Michigan Venture Capital Association, The Great Lakes Protection Fund, University of Michigan’s M-TRAC – Advanced Transportation Oversight Committee, and GreenLight Detroit. She holds director positions for portfolio start-ups Genomenon, MicroLam, HT Mobile and Ripple Sciences. Ms. Glaza is an active entrepreneurial instructor for the NSF/NIH I-Corps. She earned a BA in International Relations/Economics from Michigan State University and and an MBA from the University of Michigan - Ross School of Business.
 

Virtual Networking: 5:30-6:00 PM

Join us for virtual networking after the main event to meet with the panelists, NEF members and other attendees.

REGISTER

The ONLINE ONLY meeting opens at 4:00 pm and will end at 5:30 PM.

Registration is required in order to obtain access to the online meeting. In your registration confirmation email, you will receive Zoom meeting link and password to join the meeting.

Showcase Presenter: 

15 October 2020

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

Online Event

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting. 

Register Here

During this unprecedented time, we want to continue to support our entrepreneurs and give them a chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community, even if it means going VIRTUAL in presenting their ideas and business plans.

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Showcase Presentation

ZoomBroom

Randy Kuckuck is co-inventor of the ZoomBroom and CEO of Aceleon, the company which is developing the ZoomBroom.  ZoomBroom makes cleaning off your deck, patio, sidewalks, and steps a breeze. Its slim, lightweight design makes it easy to store in a convenient location in your home, so it is always handy and ready to tackle these cleaning challenges. Leaf blowers are great for clearing leaves off your yard in the fall, but the ZoomBroom is designed for more common, everyday tasks around the house.

Randy is a graduate of MSU and Loyola Marymount Law School in Los Angeles. Randy started his business career as CFO of BookCrafters in Chelsea, MI. He then joined All Media Guide in Ann Arbor as COO. He helped grow AMG from $2M to $10M in revenue and positioned it for sale to Tivo for $72M. He has also served as COO of Muze. In 2010 he founded PublishNext, an online book publisher, which he later sold to Thomson-Shore in Dexter. Since the sale of PublishNext, he has worked as a consultant, started a non-profit, and is a presenter at publishing conferences.

Pitch Pit

Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $250 cash prize.

Contestants

The entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Melissa Davis, Defyne Hair. Defyne Hair is a beauty tech platform that identifies products with the highest possibility of working for your unique hair type.

  • Marianna Kerppola, Poisera. Poisera uses machine learning to address the mental health treatment gap ensuring moms receive during pregnancy or postpartum the right support at the right time.

  • Maria Mikhailova, Love & Vodka, A Film. It is an upcoming independent feature film with a young American in Love with an Ukrainian girl.

Judges

A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams:

Katie Bigelow is the owner and founder of Mettle Ops, an engineering and federal contract consulting company centered on Warfighters Serving Warfighters.  Katie started Mettle Ops in 2013 knowing defense contracting was the place where she could make an impact for the warfighter. Mettle Ops has won 9 contracts since that start in 2015 and have been awarded over $33 million in Army contracts, including a prime government contract worth over $19 million. Katie spent ten years in the US Army, first an enlisted soldier and completing her last seven years as a warrant officer and Army aviator. With over 1,000 flight hours including two years in combat, Katie is experienced in intense environments and critical decision making. 

Linda M. Fingerle, CPA, MBA is President and Managing Director of Tappan Hill Ventures and has over 25 years of business and finance experience, including eight years serving as CFO and Principal of EDF Ventures in Ann Arbor. While at EDF, she served as a board member and acting CFO for a tech start-up internet technology company. Earlier, Linda served on the board and was Audit Committee Chair for Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. a Michigan based biotech company. She provided strategic & financial consulting to an Ann Arbor based biotech start-up culminating in a successful exit in 2009. Linda earned her MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University.

Gwen Jimmere is CEO and founder of Naturalicious and has cemented her place in history as the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Her products can be found all around the world, in over 1200 retail stores, including Ulta, Whole Foods, and Sally Beauty.  A respected authority in the hair care industry, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in the U.S. and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner. Gwen is based in Detroit and, when she’s not strategizing her next business move, you can find her hanging out with her son Caiden, Naturalicious’ CCC (Chief Candy Curator).
 

 

 

REGISTRATION

The event is FREE. Registration is required. The webinar meeting starts at 4:00 PM and will end at 5:30 PM.

Check registration confirmation email. You will receive one click Zoom link to join the online meeting.  Make sure to download free Zoom Client App prior to joining the meeting.

Forward this invitation on to your colleagues or share via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Contact us at info@newenterpriseforum.org for any questions.

Showcase Presenter: 

17 September 2020

NEF Showcase Presentation and Panel Discussion - Online Event

ForumLocation: 

Online Event

Thursday September 17 at 4 PM ET

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Showcase Presentation

MODUS

Ali Alhimiri, MD is the Principal Founder of MODUS and is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician who has been providing cost-effective, high quality care to thousands of patients in Southeast Michigan since 2002. His experience in treating patients with pain led directly to the development of MODUS, a digital health platform that improves patient access to evidence-based care, enables employers to implement value-based contracting technology, and rewards physicians for positive outcomes.

 

Panel Discussion - "Selling and Marketing in the Year of the Pandemic"

A panel of experts will discuss how entrepreneurs are responding to the unusual conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Marketing Officers, Sales Directors and CEOs will share their perspectives on operating in a virtual world and explain the B2B sales and marketing strategies they are deploying to meet the unique challenges of acquiring new customers in the midst of lockdown orders, an economic crisis and a public health emergency.  

Panelists

Mike Klein is CEO of Genomenon, a genomic health IT company that keeps pace with the constant advancements made in genomics and connects that research to patient DNA to help diagnose and treat patients with rare and inherited genetic diseases. With over 25 years of developing, building and growing 4 different high tech companies, Mike raised over $50M in capital and had several successful investor exits.

 

 

Raffaele Mautone is CEO and Founder of AaDya, a Detroit-based startup founded in 2019 to provide smart, simple and effective cybersecurity solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Raffaele’s strategic thinking and effective leadership have been instrumental and paramount in his career as an IT, Sales and Operations professional.  His extensive experience in the IT and Security industry serves as the platform of Aadya.  His consistent record of leading teams through successful acquisitions, strategic planning and implementation and deploying large, multi-tiered complex programs has served companies such as Duo, FireEye, McAfee and Dell.  Raffaele also has experience in implementing marketing and sales strategies positioning companies for future growth and deploying applications and business process improvements to assist with bookings, leads and new go-to-market programs. 

Mark Shalinsky, Ph.D., is a data scientist who now focuses on sales and revenue operations. As the fifth employee at Duo Security, Mark built the inside sales infrastructure and kicked off sales operations. Following his tenure at Duo, Mark built out a similar infrastructure at FatStax, a sales enablement company acquired by BigTinCan. By day Mark works as the Director of Inside Sales and Sales Operations at SkySync; by night, Mark shares insights with small and medium-sized companies that are struggling with their sales and revenue operations.

Bill Taylor is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer with Chief Outsiders, a firm of 70+ Fractional Chief Marketing Officers. Bill applies his passion for technology to helping technology CEOs achieve profitable, sustainable growth. Over the last 35 years Bill has had roles as  a corporate CMO, VP of Sales, and Strategy Executive with companies ranging from early stage startups to multi-billion-dollar businesses. At Chief Outsiders he helps companies find their growth engines through a strategic planning process and go-to-market plans that bring the strategy to life.

Moderator

Paul Henchey is Vice President of the New Enterprise Forum as well as a consultant to healthcare software companies, providing expertise in strategic product marketing, software product management, content marketing, software design and strategic product planning. His management experience spans both Fortune 20 companies and small start-ups. Paul has a successful track record in helping companies of all sizes launch new software products and grow new revenue streams.

 

ABOUT

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.

We will showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Make plans to join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

REGISTER

The ONLINE ONLY meeting opens at 4:00 pm and will end at 5:30 PM.

Registration is required in order to obtain access to the online meeting. In your registration confirmation email, you will receive Zoom meeting link and password to join the meeting.

Showcase Presenter: 

16 July 2020

NEF Pitch Pit and Fireside Chat - Online Event

ForumLocation: 

Online Virtual Event

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting. 

During this unprecedented time, we want to continue to support our entrepreneurs and give them a chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community, even if it means going VIRTUAL in presenting their ideas and business plans.

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

NEF Pitch Pit

Four entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $250 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Brooke Burton, The People's Club. The club is an affordable, accessible, home-away-from-home for young people to learn, engage, and connect.

  • Faiz Haider, Strapp. A social networking platform that helps you find and connect with students of any skill, interest, or background on campus.

  • Alyssa Space, ForHerCosmetics. All natural vegan and cruelty free cosmetic line that offers lipstick, lip gloss, mineral highlighter and a human hair lash line - a product and service based brand.

  • Phillip Sylvester, Virtual Music Ensemble. Our product automatically renders virtual ensembles together for use in both education and non-education based music ensembles.

A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams. The judges are:

Jason Pliml, Technology Business Consultant, Michigan SBDC

Jason brings extensive entrepreneurial and business coaching experience. He’s a self-identified “data nerd” who has owned several profitable businesses, covering an array of niches from virtual business services to fantasy sports software. The common thread through each of his businesses is the practical application of cutting edge technology to gain competitive advantages and operational efficiencies.
Jason holds a BS degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Lake Superior State University. He has served as a board member for tech companies, industry trade associations, and non-profit organizations. Areas of Expertise include Applied A.I., SaaS business strategy, investor pitch coaching, pricing strategy.

Russell Schindler, P.G.,  CEO, SampleServe

Russell is a serial entrepreneur. His most recent start-up is SampleServe, Inc. a company specializing sample data automation and environmental reporting. He is a Certified Professional Geologist and a graduate of Western Michigan University and holds 7 patents related to groundwater clean-up and environmental sampling.

He is also the founder of a monthly technology meetup group in Traverse City MI called TCNewTech . TCNewTech is an organization that promotes technology entrepreneurship and tries to match technology start-up founders with investors. Russell is an avid sailor and has completed 15 Chicago to Mackinaw races and 7 Port Huron to Mackinaw races and 3 SuperMac races.

‘Tember Shea, Invest Detroit Ventures, Portfolio Manager

‘Tember Shea joined ID Ventures as Portfolio Manager October 2018 and focuses on actively supporting IDV’s portfolio companies. ID Ventures is the most active early stage investor in the state and has invested in over 125 Michigan-based companies across multiple sectors. Her role includes monitoring the growth of the IDV portfolio and actively working with IDV’s existing companies to help improve their opportunities for success. ‘Tember was previously responsible for leading inGAGE™, Inforum’s strategy to position Michigan as the Midwest hub for high-growth women entrepreneurs. ‘Tember led Inforum’s statewide membership cultivation and engagement strategy for more than 2,000 members and 80 companies.

Passionate about strengthening and diversifying the entrepreneurial eco-system in Southeast Michigan, ‘Tember utilizes her skills, experience and network to transform and connect the community. She attended Central Michigan University and the Venture Capital Institute. She serves on the board of the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) and is a member of the Venture Capital Platform Community.

Angel Investing in Michigan

Join us for a fireside chat with Skip Simms. Skip will give us a short presentation on State of Angel Funding in Michigan. Then he will join us for a fireside chat and audience questions. Join us and come prepared with your questions.

"Skip" Simms, Senior Vice President, Ann Arbor SPARK and Managing Member, Michigan Angel Fund
As Senior Vice President of Ann Arbor SPARK, Skip works with technology start-up and early stage companies.  He focuses on preparing start-ups for equity fund raising. He is the Managing Member of the for-profit Michigan Angel Fund which invests in Michigan based technology companies that are capital efficient.  The Michigan Angel Fund is the state’s largest angel group with 140 high net worth individuals looking for an above average return while helping grow and diversify the state’s economy.

Skip has been successful in raising over $26 million in grants through the states 21st Century Jobs Fund program for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.  This program provided very early stage start-ups with small loans and matching investments of up to $250,000. Skip has 29 years of experience serving in management positions at several television stations around the country.  His last position was President and General Manager of a Charter Fox affiliate in Indiana owned by Ralph Wilson Enterprises.  During his time there, he started the markets first independent news operation and directed the network affiliation switch to CBS.   

In 2018 he was recognized in the first annual dBusiness magazine list of Detroit’s 500 most powerful people. Skip participates on both profit and non-profit boards, and was a founding member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

Mark your calendar. The webinar meeting starts at 4:00 PM and will end at 5:30 PM.

REGISTRATION

The event is FREE. Registration is required.

Check registration confirmation email. You will receive one click Zoom link to join the online meeting.  Make sure to download free Zoom Client App prior to joining the meeting.

Forward this invitation on to your colleagues or share via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Contact us at info@newenterpriseforum.org for any questions.

18 June 2020

NEF Showcase Presentation and Panel Discussion - Online Event

ForumLocation: 

Online Virtual Event

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.

During this unprecedented time, we want to continue to support our entrepreneurs and give them a chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community, even if it means being VIRTUAL in presenting their ideas and business plans.

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Showcase Presenter

eSimplify

eSimplify is a predictive practice analytics platform for primary care physicians. eSimplify helps primary care physicians maximize revenue, identify gaps in care and, most importantly, improve the quality of care for their patients. eSimplify's analysis has shown that primary care practices are leaving billons of dollars in recoverable revenue on the table. As healthcare providers shift to a value-based payment model, eSimplify’s affordable analytics helps small to mid-sized practices successfully make that transition. Founded in 2018, eSimplify is currently focused on primary care physician practice but will be expanding to other specialties in the near future.

Pradeep Kalmat is the founder and CEO of eSimplify. Pradeep worked at Aon Hewitt for over 18 years and was responsible for delivering high quality services in a highly challenging environment across various areas of human resource management. The demanding accuracy requirement of 99% or higher in that field  prepared him to rely on data and metrics that provided meaningful insights to identify inefficiencies and improve processes. Pradeep relied on this knowledge and expertise to assess the market and then design, develop, and deploy eSimplify with the specific goal of creating value for primary care physician and other providers.

Panel Discussion: Looking for Funding in the Time of Coronavirus

Join New Enterprise Forum, and a panel of venture capital and angel investors for a discussion to help entrepreneurs understand investment challenges and opportunities during and post Covid-19 pandemic. This discussion will provide guidance and resources for entrepreneurs navigating through this unprecedented health and economic crisis.

Panelists:

Carolyn Cassin, General Partner & Co-Founder, BELLE Funds

In 2010 Carolyn and a group of 30 other Michigan women founded BELLE Capital/Michigan, of which she is the General Partner.   Over her thirty year career, Carolyn has started and grown two companies, and has been brought in to transform and turn around three more. She turned around a failing hospice organization in southeast Michigan and built it into the nation’s largest and one of the best-run hospices. She was then recruited to lead the first venture capital backed hospice company in the US, Vistacare, which became a publicly traded company in 2005.  Among many other awards, she has been named by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of “Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women” and “Woman to Watch.”  Carolyn earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University, her BA from Miami University, and the esteemed three-year National Leadership Fellowship from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

 Kate Hernández, Principal, Detroit Venture Partners

Kate Hernández is a Principal at Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm. Detroit Venture Partners specializes in backing seed and early stage start-ups. Ms. Hernández has worked in various professions including legal, banking, and management consulting. Ms. Hernández has also consulted for a Mexican venture capital firm based in Mexico City.  In her current role, Ms. Hernández sees an opportunity to further the role of women in technology.  She founded the Detroit chapter of SoGal – a non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting female and diverse founders – and she is also is a member of the Global Women in VC Network. Ms. Hernández earned a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Camila Noordeloos, Principal, Grand Ventures

Camila is a Principal at Grand Rapids-based Grand Ventures. As a Principal she identifies promising investment opportunities across Grand Venture’s sectors of interest and works closely with portfolio companies driving strategy development and implementation. She also leads the firm’s operations and is responsible for managing all stages of the investment process from fundraising through portfolio management and exit. Camila has 10+ years of consulting, corporate and venture capital experience. Prior to joining Grand Ventures, Camila worked at General Electric holding management positions within finance, portfolio management and business strategy. She spent six years at GE Ventures, playing a crucial role in building the foundation for it to become one of the most active corporate venture capital firms in the country, and managing a portfolio of over 150 investment companies. She has also held operational roles in startups, including an extensive project with Zinc, a GE Ventures portfolio company acquired by ServiceMax, and Imaginare Studios, a company she co-founded with two MBA colleagues. Camila earned a BBA from the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil and received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Moderator:

Stefan Sysko, Agitator, Disruptor, Contrarian, Sysko Thinking LLC

An entrepreneur with a diverse background and over 30 years of experience, Stefan is a consultant, advisor and mentor to start-ups and rapidly-growing businesses, helping turn ideas into focused, viable business plans. He serves as faculty and Business Advisor for Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program in Detroit, is past-president, current board member and coach at the New Enterprise Forum, and Lead Facilitator for TechTown Detroit’s Start Studio Accelerator and Incubator program. He serves on the boards of several startups, and serves as a mentor and judge for a variety of organizations, programs and pitch competitions.
 

REGISTER

The ONLINE ONLY meeting opens at 4:00 pm and will end at 5:30 PM.

Registration is required in order to obtain access to the online meeting. In your registration confirmation email, you will receive Zoom meeting link and password to join the meeting.

Showcase Presenter: 

21 May 2020

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit - Online Event

ForumLocation: 

Online Virtual Event

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting. 

During this unprecedented time, we want to continue to support our entrepreneurs and give them a chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community, even if it means going VIRTUAL in presenting their ideas and business plans.

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.

Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Thanks.

Vic Havele, President, New Enterprise Forum

REGISTER

Showcase Presenter

RIZZARR is a tech-enabled content marketplace for brands to work with Millennial and Gen Z content creators worldwide. RIZZARR acts as an intermediary marketing platform for brands to find, connect, and collaborate with  over 5,300 content creators from around the world. RIZZARR helps Millennial and Gen Z nano-influencers and micro-influencers to authentically produce high-quality videos, selfie videos, podcasts, social posts, articles, and photos for brands to use across their apps, social media, and other digital media properties.

Ashley M. Williams is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR.  She also founded Millennials Change, an event series created to inspire Millennials to make a positive impact on the world. Before starting her journey into entrepreneurship, Ashley was an award-winning journalist working for NBC News, WBAL Radio, and USA TODAY. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism as well as minors in international relations and Spanish. As a collegiate debater, she received a scholarship and placement on the USC Trojan Debate Squad. In her spare time, Ashley is a board member for various mission-driven entities including Techbridge Girls and the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

NEF Pitch Pit

Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $250 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Sumeet Chhawri, nuBoxZ.  Anyone that uses Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo or OfferUp like second hand marketplaces have to meet face to face when buying or selling. nuBoxZ provides smart lockers to people to drop-off or pick-up items making the transactions safe and convenient.
  • Kai Cui, Unbuyist.  Enable fashion retailers sell more and spend less by optimizing merchandise supply through understanding of their target consumers and market with modern technology like AI and ML.
  • Kaitlin Zurdosky, Destination Bachelorette.  We provide bachelor/ette parties with the tools they need to book destination trips. The bachelor/ette party industry is a $16 billion dollar industry that involves hundreds of thousands of brides and guests booking vendors and traveling.

A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams. The judges are:

Neil Kane

A leading authority on technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation, he is the former Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University where he built the program to a Top 25 national ranking in 2 ½ years. Kane is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne National Laboratory and was (the first!) Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Illinois. He was the founding CEO of several startup companies based on university research in areas such as nanotechnology and advanced materials. Earlier he held engineering, sales and business development positions at IBM and Microsoft.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from The University of Chicago. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, he twice attended their annual meeting in Davos. Recognized for Outstanding Entrepreneurship by the National Science Foundation. Twice an invited witness on tech transfer for the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. Contributor to Forbes.com. Co-author of The Innovator’s Secret Formula.

Niki Kennedy, MD, MBA, MSE, MS. Arborhive Innovation

Dr. Niki Kennedy is a vascular surgeon with a background in both engineering and business.  She began her career as an electrical engineer, graduating from Lawrence Technological University in 1995 with her BS.  She then went on to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for graduate work where she obtain Masters degrees in both electrical and biomedical engineering.  Dr. Kennedy then made the jump into the clinical world, completing her MD at Wayne State University in 2003.  From there, she went on to complete her general surgery residency at St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit as well as her vascular surgery fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital.  She maintains active board certifications in both fields.
Dr. Kennedy has been in active clinical practice since 2012 and is currently the section chief of vascular surgery at Henry Ford West Bloomfield hospital in the Detroit area.  She also obtained her MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2019.  Since her undergraduate days, Dr. Kennedy has worked as a consultant for startups in the healthcare field.  She is experienced in device development, regulatory affairs and quality assurance.  She is a member of multiple surgical organizations including the American College of Surgeons, the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Academy of Surgery of Detroit.

Jeff Ponders II, Entrepreneur in Residence, TechTown Detroit; Managing Partner, The Better Company

Jeff Ponders II is a modern-day Batman. By day, he helps entrepreneurs grow thriving companies and develop smart marketing & product strategy. Along the way, he also helps unfulfilled professionals ditch their contrived corporate personas to bring their authentic selves to market everyday. By night, he performs nationally as a professional saxophonist. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Jeff resides in the Detroit area with his family.

Fireside Chat with Prof. David Brophy, Director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance

We will chat with Prof. Brophy about challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs in these unusual times. Founders and aspiring entrepreneurs would love to hear from Prof. Brophy his advice and insights on potential strategies to adopt as we all look forward to recovery. Come and particpate in the Q&A.

David Brophy joined the finance faculty at U-M in 1968 and has served since 1992 as Director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, where he assists emerging and mid-size companies. He is a founding member of the editorial board of the Journal of Private Equity and the International Journal of Venture Capital. Dr. Brophy’s consulting activities in the public and private sectors include his advisory work with funds such as Compass Technology Partners, Plymouth Ventures and Bio-Star Ventures, as well as with various government agencies in the United States, Australia and France. He holds an MBA from University of Detroit and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Mark your calendar. The webinar meeting starts at 4:00 PM and will end at 5:30 PM.

The event is FREE. Registration is required.

REGISTER

Check registration confirmation email. You will receive Zoom link, password and instructions to join the online meeting using Zoom. Make sure to download Zoom Client App prior to joining the meeting.

Forward this invitation on to your colleagues or share via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Contact us at info@newenterpriseforum.org for any questions.

 

Showcase Presenter: 

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